By Mary-Louise Fellowes
Is there anything better than the smell of freshly cooked bread? We have had a bread maker in our house for years, but I have always been disappointed that it doesn’t give off that aromatic vibe that you get when you walk past a bakery when the smell of fresh bread wafts out at you. Thus homemade bread recipes should be worth the effort!
A most wonderful friend who is on a (very successful) journey to zero waste recently told me she had given away her bread maker. I was shocked. I know her little kiddies love her creations. “But how will you make your homemade bread?” I asked, nervously. “I will make my own. There is something very therapeutic about kneading that bread…” was her response.
Fair enough, I can’t argue with that!
So with that in mind, we thought we would bring you 3 really easy homemade bread recipes that will fill your house with that fabulous aroma. Don’t even think about buying that bread maker, it wont smell the same!
Homemade Bakery French Bread – by modernhoney
Firstly this super easy recipe, which will put a delicious French loaf on your table in under an hour. Yum!
- 2 Tbsp Yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 cups hot water
- 2 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/3 cup oil
- 6 1/2 cups flour
- 1 Egg, beaten
1. Firstly, take a small bowl and add ½ cup of warm water – Dissolve your yeast. Let it proof for around 10 minutes.
2. Then, grab your hot water (2 cups) and in a separate bowl, combine it with the sugar, salt and oil. Slowly mix in 3 cups of the flour (not all the flour! We need some for the next step). Add in the yeast mixture…
3. After that, slowly add the final 3 1/2 cups of flour. Be sure to mix it each time you add some – try a cup at a time. You want to see it start to pull away from the bowl – then you know it is ready. Once all of the flour is added, let it sit for 10 minutes.
4. While you are waiting, shake some left over flour onto your work surface. Separate your dough into 3 pieces and roll each piece into a rectangle – remember it will rise in the oven, but still roll it into a French bread loaf shape and then smooth out the edges. Now, grease a baking tray and pop the dough, seam side down. With a sharp knife, make 3-4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch thick into the bread. This allows the egg (next) to sink in and create that lovely golden crust. Brush with your beaten egg.
6. Then you want to let your dough rise uncovered for 30-40 minutes in a warm place.
7. Finally, bake at 375 degrees (190 or Gas Mark 5) for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown.
4 Ingredient Easy Artisan Bread – by It’s always Autumn
Secondly with just 4 ingredients and only 5 minutes of preparation time you could just get addicted to making this homemade bread recipe every day!
- 3 cups plain/all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1.5 cups warm water
1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Cover with a wax wrap or reusable silicone lid and rest it at room temp for somewhere between 8-24 hours – whatever suits your schedule
2. Then, cover your work surface with flour and pop your dough on it. Work it into a ball (We find sometimes using parchment or baking paper helps).
3. Then let it rest for 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, preheat the over to 450 degrees (220 or Gas Mark 8). You need to put the high sided dish you mean to cook your bread in, into the oven to war up.
5. Following that, take a knife and impress an X onto the top of the bread. Carefully place it in your oven dish (watch out, it will be hot!) If you are using the baking paper, you can put the whole thing in the dish.
6. Finally, cover with more baking paper and bake for 30 mins. Then uncovered for a further 15 mins, until golden brown
Cool before slicing and enjoy!
Perfect White Bread – Brown Eyed Baker
Lastly, the delicious white bread, perfect every time.
- ¾ cup warm water
- 4½ tsp instant yeast
- A separate 2⅔ cups warm water
- ¼ cup sugar (granulated)
- 9 cups plain flour
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
- 1 tbsp salt
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter (melted, for brushing)
1. Firstly, take the ¾ cup of warm water and, in a mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast. Let this for 5 minutes.
2. Add the remaining ingredients (but only 5 cups of the flour) and give it a good mix.
3. Gradually add the remaining flour (you can use a mixer on it’s lowest setting if you want to) until the dough is soft. It shouldn’t feel sticky, rather it should feel tacky. Use your judgement as to whether or not to use all the flour. Knead for about 7-10 minutes. You want to form a soft ball of dough that clears the sides of the bowl.
4. Following this, grease a bowl (lightly) and pop your dough in there for 45 minutes to an hour – covered. Make sure you leave it somewhere free of drafts. It should rise til it is around double in size.
5. While you wait, sprinkle a counter top with flour and turn out the dough. Remove any air pockets by giving it a gentle press. Then split the dough into two pieces and take the first piece, gently pat and roll it into a rectangle, the roll it up into a very tight cylinder, starting at one end and working your way down. Seal the seams in by giving them a little pinch and tuck any loose ends underneath.
6. Use 2 x 9in loaf pans (grease them first). You need to cover and leave – once again in a draft free area – for 30-35 mins. They should once again double in size.
7. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and take the oven rack and put it on the lowest setting that you can.
8. Melt your butter and then brush it over the top of the bread before popping in your oven for 30-35 mins. You will need to rotate them mid-way through the baking time. Brush the loaves with some of the melted butter. Bake the loaves for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown, rotating halfway through.
9. Once out of the oven, brush them some more melted butter and leave them to cool. 10 minutes should be enough for you to then remove them from the pans altogether and leave to cool on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy!
Above all, thank you to the bloggers who have tried and tested these homemade bread recipes for us over and over and over!
So..if you have any other tips or comments on this blog please do let us know below
Thanks for reading!
And finally, have you read about how to make your own delicious chocolate spread? See it here
Ready for some more eco inspiration? Have a browse of our full range and find something that could well last you a lifetime.